Collection KA/FP - PERSONNEL: King's College London staff records

Key Information

Reference code



PERSONNEL: King's College London staff records


  • 1900-1999 (ongoing) (Creation)

Level of description



approx 9900 files

Scope and content

Records comprise three series of King's College staff files: Academic and academic related staff files, 1900-1999 (KA/FPA), (predominantly from 1920, with few surviving before this date); Manual and Technical staff files, 1903, 1932-1995 (KA/FPT); Clerical and Secretarial staff files, 1920-1998 (KA/FPC). Academic staff includes professors, lecturers, research staff and academic related staff such as senior administration officers and professional staff such as archivists and librarians. From 1985 the Manual and Technical staff files include porters, catering and kitchen staff, laboratory and research technicians, cleaners, receptionists, telephonists, house keepers, drivers/chauffeurs, service engineers, electricians, carpenters and security attendants. Clerical and Secretarial files from 1984 include secretaries, secretarial assistants, library assistants, assistant accountants, administrative assistants, nursery assistants, post-graduate records assistants, payroll assistants, cashiers, computer programmers and operators, information officers and surveyors. Files include correspondence and papers relating to terms and conditions of appointments, contracts, salaries, sick leave, pensions, expenses, resignations, applications and references. The earliest part of the series for academic staff is incomplete.

For the majority of the twentieth century, and up until the 1985 merger between King's, Chelsea and Queen Elizabeth Colleges, responsibility for the creation and maintaining of staff records was divided according to the status and seniority of the person concerned between the Principal, the College Secretary, the Senior Assistant Secretary and the Bursar. In 1985 the personnel functions of all three colleges were integrated in a single department which took responsibility for staff of the other colleges and reported to the College Secretary. In the late 1990s reporting lines of the department have been varied but the personnel function has remained integrated. Dispersed series of staff files for King's College were integrated on their receipt into three main, chronologically arranged series reflecting academic and academically related, clerical and clerically related, and manual and technical staff.

System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically overall and then alphabetically by the surname of the member of staff for each year. The year given is the date when the member of staff left the College. In cases when it was not possible to determine a leaving date, the last document on file was used to provide an indication. Academic staff files 1900-1981 and Clerical and Secretarial staff files 1920-1982 were originally arranged in five series; Academic (up to 1976); Non-Academic (up to 1979); Clerical and Secretarial (1977-1982); Professorial (1978-1981) and Administrative (1968-1978). These were rationalised to create the two existing series.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Between 1831 and 1988 the role of College Secretary evolved from Secretary to the Principal and Council to become a senior administrative officer of the College. Throughout the period the College Secretary had responsibility for servicing the Council, its main standing and special subcommittees, and the Academic Board. In the 1960s, the post of Academic Registrar was reorganised to reflect the coordinated responsibility for student admission and examinations with the Department.

The College employed four Secretaries between 1828 and 1919: Henry Nelson Coleridge (1828); Henry William Smith (1829-1845); John William Cunningham (1845-1895), and Walter Smith (1895-1919).

Custodial history

The majority of the Academic staff files, 1900-1981, and Clerical and Secretarial staff files, 1920-1982, were transferred to the College Archives from the Secretary's office in December 1982. The Manual and Technical staff files 1903, 1932-1983 were maintained by the Head Clerk until January 1984, and transferred to the College Archives from the Personnel section of the Secretary's office in December 1984. A few files relating to administrative staff, 1922-1946, and refectory and hostel staff, 1925-1960, were transferred from the Bursar's semi-current records store in December 1984.

Conditions governing access

Files containing personal data are closed for 80 years and sensitive personal data for 100 years from the date of the most recent document in the file.

Administrative records are generally closed for 20 years except for published material and some committee and other minutes.

Where open, access is subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

Detailed catalogues are available in hard copy in the reading room of the College Archives. A series of record cards arranged alphabetically by name is also available in the reading room, detailing academic staff appointments, [1890-1982] under present, past and deceased staff.

Existence and location of originals

Off-campus collection

Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus. Read more ›

Related materials

The college archives also hold personnel records of Chelsea College, Academic staff files, 1960-1985 (CA/FPA), Clerical and Secretarial staff files, 1951-1987 (CA/FPC), staff personal record cards, 1976-1985 (CA/RC); Queen Elizabeth College Manual and Technical staff files, 1919-1985 (QA/FPT), Academic and related Academic staff files, 1909-1985 (QA/FPA), Clerical and Secretarial staff files, 1922-1985 (QA/FPC); King's College London Library staff files, 1957-1998 (KAL/FD), wages signature books (KA/WSB), salaries books (KA/SAB), College calendars (include lists of academic staff).

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Place access points

People and Organisations

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Accession area